Busy Week For Hawkeye Softball

April 21, 2008

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team will play six games in as many days this week. The Hawkeyes open Tuesday at Drake (6 p.m.) before returning home to face Northern Iowa (6 p.m.) Wednesday.

Iowa then returns to Big Ten action this weekend with single games at Purdue Friday (3 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.) before a Sunday doubleheader at Indiana starting at 11 a.m. All times listed are central.

Hawkeyes on the Air ? Both games against Purdue will be broadcast live on AM-800 KXIC. Rob Brooks will handle the play-by-play.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans can follow along on Gametracker via hawkeyesports.com. Gametracker links can be found on the softball schedule page.

The remainder of Iowa softball games will be broadcast live on hawkeyesports.com. Fans can listen free, but do have to go through a quick registration. Audio links can be found next to the Gametracker links. Rob Brooks will handle the play-by-play.

Hawkeyes Crack Top 25 ? Iowa is ranked 25th in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Hawkeyes are also receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll.

Updated polls are released every Tuesday.

Opponents in the Polls ? Seven Iowa opponents are ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls. Arizona State (2nd/1st), Florida (3rd/3rd), Michigan (6th/5th), Northwestern (13th/13th), North Carolina (15th/17th), Louisiana-Lafayette (17th/18th) and DePaul (20th/25th) are all ranked.

In addition, Central Florida is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

Scouting Drake ? The Drake Bulldogs are 21-19 overall and 11-5 in Missouri Valley Conference play. As a team, Drake is batting .235 and has a 3.17 ERA.

Marilyn Buss has a team-best .330 batting average while Susan Slycord is hitting .245 with eight home runs and 25 RBI.

Brynne Dordel is 15-7 and leads the team with a 1.58 ERA and 161 strikeouts. Jenna DeLong is 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA.

Last Time vs. the Bulldogs ? Iowa defeated Drake, 4-1, at the Metrodome Classic Feb. 17.

Summer Downs tallied a two-RBI single in the second and freshman Chelsey Carmody added a sacrifice fly for another run in the fourth. Freshman Jenny Schuelke tallied her first career hit with a solo home run in the fourth.

Brittany Weil threw a complete game two-hitter with nine strikeouts.

Scouting Northern Iowa ? The Northern Iowa Panthers are 16-23 overall and 3-12 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Updated statistics were not available at press time. Northern Iowa hosts North Dakota State Tuesday before coming to Iowa City.

Last Time vs. the Panthers ? Iowa defeated Northern Iowa, 1-0, at the Metrodome Classic Feb. 16.

Colleen McGlaughlin recorded a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Lindsey Digmann.

Amanda Zust threw a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.

Scouting Purdue ? The Purdue Boilermakers are 30-16 overall and 6-6 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers have a team batting average of .275 and a team earned run average of 3.06. Purdue is scheduled to host Notre Dame, in a doubleheader Tuesday, before facing the Hawkeyes.

Candace Curtis is batting .357 with a team-best nine home runs and 34 RBI. Kelly Miller is batting .344 while Ashley Hall is hitting .317.

Suzie Rzegocki is 13-6 with a 2.88 earned run average while Dana Alcocer is 16-10 with a 3.28 earned run average and a team leading 111 strikeouts.

Last Time vs. the Boilermakers ? Purdue knocked Iowa out of the 2007 Big Ten Tournament with a 4-1 win. Iowa won both games in West Lafayette last season, 6-1 and 4-3 in nine innings.

Scouting Indiana ? The Indiana Hoosiers are 13-31 overall and 3-11 in Big Ten action. Indiana is batting .214 as a team and has an ERA of 4.79. The Hoosiers will host Louisville Wednesday and Illinois Friday and Saturday before entertaining Iowa.

Jenni Huddleston is batting .307 while Tory Yamaguchi has a team high five home runs and 22 RBI.

Monica Wright has thrown the majority of innings for the Hoosiers. She is 10-13 with a 3.81 ERA and has 88 strikeouts in 154.1 innings.

Last Time vs. the Hoosiers ? Iowa knocked off Indiana, 4-0 and 9-0 in six innings.

Nichols in Bloomington ? Senior Emily Nichols broke Iowa’s career home run record with a two-run shot at Indiana (March 31) last season. Nichols’ home run cleared the center field fence and helped Iowa to a 9-0 win over the Hoosiers.

Nichols currently has 37 home runs.

Last Weekend’s Results ? Iowa swept Wisconsin in a Saturday doubleheader (2-0, 8-1) but split Sunday’s twin-bill against Minnesota. Iowa topped the Golden Gophers in game one, 2-0, but dropped a 13-inning marathon in game two, 1-0.

Weil Pushes Iowa Past Badgers ? Junior Brittany Weil struck out a season-high 12 batters to lead Iowa past Wisconsin in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Weil tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout and walked only one batter. She took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing the lone hit of the contest. The Garden Grove, CA, native struck out at least one batter in six of seven innings. She walked her only batter of the game in the second, but struck out the side in the frame. Weil also struck out two batters in the first, third, fourth and seven innings.

West Returns to the Lineup ? Junior Rachel West returned to Iowa’s lineup Friday against Wisconsin after missing the previous eight games with an injury.

West served as a pinch-hitter and also entered as a pinch-runner in game one against Minnesota. West also had a pinch-hit appearance in game two against the Golden Gophers.

One of the Best ? Junior Brittany Weil is just the second Hawkeye in school history to be named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week three times during a season.

Weil was given the honor Feb. 18, March 10 and April 14.

Former Hawkeye Lisa Birocci was tabbed Big Ten Pitcher of the Week three times during the 2005 season.

Holding Late Leads ? If the Hawkeyes are able to grab a lead after the fourth inning, chances are they will hold on for the win.

Iowa is 24-2 when leading after four innings, 28-2 when leading after five and 25-0 when leading after six.

Scoring Early and Often ?? Iowa is outscoring its opponents, 31-13 in the first inning and 23-6 in the fourth inning.

The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents, 155-74 in 46 games.

Drake Game Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 31-5.

? Drake Head Coach Rich Calvert was an assistant at Iowa from 1997-02.

? Sophomores Taylor Leichsenring and Amanda Zust will be facing former high school teammates when they play Drake. Kelsey Kahler and Leichsenring were teammates at Clear Creek-Amana while Carrie Hatfield and Zust played together at Des Moines East.

? Iowa and Drake share eight common opponents. The Bulldogs defeated Western Illinois (6-1), Tennessee Tech (10-1), Michigan (2-0) and Iowa State. Drake was defeated by Arkansas (5-4), Minnesota (7-6), Central Florida (2-1) Arizona State (10-0) and Iowa State (5-1).

Northern Iowa Game Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 24-14.

? Sophomores Lindsey Digmann and Katie Brown will be facing former high school teammates against the Panthers. Digmann and UNI’s Liz Adams both attended Linn-Mar while Brown and Rachel Gerking graduated from Spirit Lake.

? Northern Iowa and Iowa share seven common opponents. The Panthers defeated Tennessee Tech (6-2), Western Illinois (4-3), Arkansas (3-0), Minnesota (6-4), Iowa State (6-3) and Wisconsin (3-0). UNI lost to Minnesota (1-0), Iowa State (6-3) and Drake three times (10-1, 15-7, 11-10).

Purdue Series Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 32-5.

? Purdue Head Coach Kim Maher and Iowa Associate Head Coach Michelle Venturella are both owners of an Olympic Gold Medal. Maher won a Gold Medal in the Atlanta, 1996 Games while Venturella captured a Gold Medal in Sydney, Austrailia, 2000.

? Purdue Assistant Coach Boo Gillette was a catcher at Wisconsin from 2003-06. Iowa was 6-3 against the Badgers during that time period.

Indiana Series Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 53-29-1.

? Indiana and Iowa share two common opponents. Indiana defeated both Tulsa (7-6) and Drake (1-0).

? Hoosier sisters Anna and Sara Olson are from the same hometown (Orland Park, IL) and high school (Carl Sandburg) as Iowa shortstop Erin Riemersma.

? Iowa Head Coach Gayle Blevins started her illustrious coaching career at Indiana. Blevins led the Hoosiers from 1980-87 and compiled an impressive 301-146 record She led Indiana to the Women’s College World Series three times and is a member of the Indiana University Hall of Fame.

? Iowa Associate Head Coach Michelle Venturella graduated from Indiana in 1996 and was a two-time NFCA all-American catcher for the Hoosiers. She was the 1995 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor and was a unanimous selection as Big Ten Player of the Year.

Tough Schedule in 2008 ? Nine of Iowa’s opponents are inside the top 50 of the latest NCAA RPI, released April 13. The Hawkeyes have three wins over top 50 RPI teams (No. 4 Michigan, No. 17 Northwestern, No. 33 Louisiana-Lafayette).

All 14 of Iowa’s losses have also come to opponents with an RPI of 100 or better, including No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Michigan, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 16 North Carolina, No. 17 Northwestern, No. 23 DePaul, No. 28 Central Florida, No. 34 Arkansas, No. 36 Florida State, No. 53 Ohio State, No. 54 Tulsa, No. 75 Minnesota, No. 92 Stetson and No. 98 Cornell.

Queens of the Road ? The Hawkeyes have played 35 of their 46 games this season on the road. Iowa has an away record of 7-6 and a neutral site mark of 16-6.

Iowa is scheduled to play six of its final eight regular season games on the road.

No Need to Wait ? Freshman Jenny Schuelke wasted no time in recording her first career home run as a Hawkeye. The Solon, IA, native’s first hit in Black and Gold was a towering, solo home run to left field in Iowa’s 4-1 win over Drake.

Nichols Named to Watch List ? Senior catcher Emily Nichols has been named to the 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List. The Portland, OR, native is one of 50 players to be selected. Nichols is the first Hawkeye player named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.

The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) sponsors the award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate softball. This is the seventh year the ASA has given the award.

Nichols Drafted ? Senior Emily Nichols was selected by the Chicago Bandits in the National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Draft. Nichols was the third pick in the second round and the ninth overall selection.

New Assistant Coach ? Shane Bouman is in his first season as pitching coach for the Hawkeyes.

Before coming to Iowa, Bouman served as head coach at South Dakota State for six seasons. He is the winningest coach in school history with 140 victories.

Bouman is also an accomplished softball pitcher. He is a four-time ASA all-American and a two-time NAFA all-American. He led five teams to ASA national championships and competed in nine International Softball Congress Tournaments.

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